Diplomatic moves over the weekend so far have not resulted in the withdrawal of artillery pieces Egypt has reportedly introduced into its zone on the east bank of the Suez Canal in violation of the disengagement agreement which calls for a thinning of forces in that zone.
U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger reportedly raised the matter with the Egyptians after it was brought to his direct attention by the Israeli Ambassador in Washington, Simcha Dinitz. Kissinger, who left for Moscow this morning, reportedly expressed the hope that the Egyptians will remove the artillery without delay.
But there were no indications today that this was being done and Israeli officials said they would not be satisfied with anything less than visible proof that the offending guns were being removed. A United Nations spokesman said today in Jerusalem that the UN Emergency Force would carry out its weekly inspection tomorrow for any possible violations of the disengagement agreement.
ARTILLERY PIECES ALSO IN UN BUFFER ZONE
The violations were spotted by Israeli reconnaissance planes Thursday and Israel immediately lodged a complaint with UNEF. The Egyptians apparently ignored the complaint and the Israeli Chief of Staff, Gen. David Elazar, brought it directly to the UNEF Commander, Gen. Ensio Siilasvuo when they met here Thursday afternoon. On Friday, Siilasvuo brought it up with the Egyptian Chief of Staff, Gen. Mohammed Gemassy.
The disengagement agreement limits Egyptian military strength east of the Suez Canal to 7000 troops and six artillery batteries or a total of 36 pieces of no greater caliber than 122mm. The additional guns brought into the zone by the Egyptians were said to be of a heavier caliber. According to a report today from Cairo, A Swedish officer of the UNEF command claimed that the Egyptians had placed an artillery piece 100 yards inside the UN buffer zone separating Egyptian and Israeli forces in order to gain a better firing position on a hillside. The UNEF command has demanded removal of the piece by tomorrow, the report said.
The violation was not the first by Egypt since the disengagement accord went into effect in Jan. A short time ago, it was learned, the Egyptians deployed anti-aircraft missiles east of Fayid on the west bank of the canal in contravention of the agreement which calls for a 40-kilometer missile-free zone on both sides of the waterway. On Israel’s insistence the missiles were removed.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.